Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Book review: Irish Meadows by Susan Anne Mason

Hold on to your horses!  Irish Meadows is a book that races on with its many plot twists and colorful characters!

Irish Meadows is a Long Island estate, home of the O’Leary family.  The O’Learys board, breed, and train racehorses, but there are rumors of a ban on racing, which threatens the livelihood of the family.  James O’Leary, and his father before him, have worked too hard to get where they are, to lose it all now.  James gets desperate, and sees opportunities for advancing his business by making alliances, through his adult children, with his wealthy and well-connected clientele and neighbors.  His children all have their own dreams, which don’t line up with their father’s wishes.

What a cast of characters!

James, the father, the domineering head of the household
Kathleen, the mother, and the spiritual head of the household
Colleen, the beautiful older daughter, who is not afraid to use her looks to her advantage
Brianna, the intelligent and personable younger daughter, who longs for the love and acceptance of her father
Gil, an orphaned young man, who has been taken in as one of the family; fiercely loyal to James, and grateful for his support, especially since James funded his education
Adam, the older brother, who is resentful of Gil’s place in the family
Rylan, a distant cousin from Ireland, who is staying with the family while he completes his seminary studies
Deirdre and Connor, younger siblings who are cute and don’t cause trouble

Sometimes outrageous, sometimes tender, sometimes passionate, sometimes desperate, this book has it all.  The first of the Courage to Dream series by debut novelist Susan Anne Mason, it is filled with lessons learned by each character, and the transformations each goes through as they learn to rely on God and seek His will in their lives. 

I really loved the quick pace and was amazed at the many plot twists, and the solidly developed characters.  I recommend this book for those who like romance and historical fiction.  I’m certainly looking forward to reading the next book in the series.
And, the cover is absolutely captivating.

I received a copy of this book from the publisher, Bethany House, in exchange for an honest review, which I have given.

About the author:

Susan Anne Mason’s debut historical novel, Irish Meadows, won the Fiction from the Heartland contest from the Mid-American Romance Chapters of RWA.  A member of ACFW, as well, she lives outside of Toronto, Ontario, with her husband and two children.  She can be found online at

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